An examination of 14,000 Facebook user accounts found that 20% have applications that contain malware capable of infecting those who click on the links with a virus or other malicious code.
The study was based on data collected over the last month from Facebook users who have opted to download a security application called SafeGo produced BitDefender, the authors of the report.
The applications in question were created by independent developers to provide Facebook users with options to customize their profile pages with everything from newsfeeds to games.
"Because social networks are based on a community of people you trust, they're an attractive target for malware writers. You're more likely to click on a link from someone you trust," says Trend Micro researcher Rik Ferguson.
Facebook claims to be vigilant in their efforts to detect and delete links that contain malware, but based on the data from BitDefender, it seems the folks at the biggest social network in the world are fighting a losing battle.
BitDefender says it has analyzed over 17 million Facebook postings the last month. For more information on Facebook security lapses, see the following articles:
Social networks have also become one of the primary concerns in enterprise security for 2011.